The Little Fish Pond, first year

A couple of years ago,
when I read about water gardening
and tried to figure out how to put a little fish pond
off to the side of the front porch at the farmhouse,
the design I preferred
was to establish a wildlife pool.
But, I added a few non-native plants
(like water lilies)
and four goldfish.
I have enjoyed the pond immensely,
including the four goldfish,
which, because they have grown,
I have assumed were happy
with their home.
They made it fine through a frigid winter patch
when the water froze—
obviously, not all the way to the bottom
of the pools.
And they’ve fared well
this extremely hot weather,
happy in the algae-rich waters
fed by the pond’s location
in the bright sun most of the day.
The water lilies
have bloomed beautiful lemony blossoms
this summer.
Seeing them is a balm,
as heat and grasshoppers
have devastated many of the nearby plants,
including the Hackberry trees
whose yellowing leaves fall
way too early
and float on the water.

I have been thrilled
to watch the little pond’s
community evolve,
delighted to see other creatures
make their home
in the little pond by the porch:
I smile when I see little frogs
poke their eyes out of the water
and sun on the lily pads
or the rocks along the edge.
I’ve happily watched a thin snake
wriggle its way up the bottom pool,
over the rocky ledge
and into the upper pool.

As the prairie has dried out this summer,
as the creeks and farm ponds
have gone dry,
new residents have moved
into the little pond by the porch.
One needs to consider
as many possible scenarios
as one can,
or at least be open to whatever develops
when one wishes
for a wildlife pond.
A very large,
very long,
perhaps very hungry, snake
came visiting a week or so ago.
And now there are no goldfish.
Too, a very large bullfrog
has come to live in the little pond by the porch,
startling me
when, unseen, it suddenly
jumped and splashed big
into the water as I stood nearby.

It’s exciting to watch
and learn
from this little community
just off the front porch.
I am amazed
how the living world
every single day.

Wildlife Pool, now